Chat with Matt Williamson
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson will stop by to chat some NFL.
Williamson has been scouting football players at different levels for six years. Before joining ESPN and Scouts Inc. in 2005, he was both an NFL and college scout for the Cleveland Browns. Before that, he spent three seasons as assistant recruiting coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh and followed J.D. Brookhart from Pitt to the University of Akron, where Williamson was the director of football operations.
Send your questions now and join Williamson Wednesday at noon ET!
Matt Williamson (11:55 AM)
Alright-Let's do this
Mike (Boca Raton)
after seeing his reaction after beating the bills sunday, is it any wonder that bud adams likes vince young?
Matt Williamson (11:57 AM)
What was that all about? Come on man! I immediately thought about the owners' meetings. Think when all the big dogs go out for a cigar and some brandy, that another owner might just bring that up? "Hey Bud. What was that all about? Come on man!"
Hey Matt, quick fantasy question. DeAngelo's a bit dinged. What do you think about starting J Stew or MB III over him this week if I'm already starting Chris Johnson as my other back? Go Pitt - Sugar Bowl!
Matt Williamson (11:58 AM)
Go Pitt indeed. If DeAngelo is out, then I really like Stewart. If he is banged up, but probably playing, I think I would lean towards MBIII, but Dallas' commitment-or lack thereof-to the run worries me.
Gnote (Norman, OK)
Next time you talk to J. Green tell him Colts should be over Saints in the Green Elevator, Also tell Pod that Colts fans love the taste of his tears! :)
Matt Williamson (11:59 AM)
Wow. Not nice. Will be on the podcast on Friday like usual. I suppose that if I were to do it, I would have Indy ahead of NOrls as well just based on their recent play.
Matt, do you see Quinn making progress with the remaining games or do you think we'll see a QB get drafted by the browns?
Matt Williamson (12:01 PM)
Wow, that is hard to say after how terrible he looked on Friday. I was holding out hope that the time on the bench would have done him well and he would actually unleash a ball somewhat deep downfield. Is is Quinn or Mangini who has constricted the passing game? By guess is that it is both-which makes them a terrible marriage. If I were Quinn-or any other Brownie-I would want out and I could see him being more successful in a new environment. We know that DA isn't good enough, so either way, a veteran needs to be brought in. Such a mess.
Vince Young (Nashville)
What do you make of me now?
Matt Williamson (12:03 PM)
VY, you are really playing well. Exceeding my expectations for sure. Are you the long term starting QB answer? I surely have my doubts considering your ability to throw the football. But, I give you-and the coaching staff-a lot of credit or this recent performance. Keep it up the rest of the year and then we will talk.
Will Mount Cody from BAMA be a 1st round pick?
Matt Williamson (12:04 PM)
I would imagine. SO hard to find those guys and there are a ton of teams now playing the 3-4 who could use a NT. Still need to do a ton more draft research-and I promise that I will-but the position/skill set that he possesses surely will help his draft cause.
I'm not sure why everyone is worried about Doug Free replacing Columbo. He did well in his first action and will only get better. I'm much more concerned about Flozell's weekly decline.
Matt Williamson (12:05 PM)
I hear what you are saying and Columbo isn't anything special for sure. Flozell looks terrible. Actually, I really don't like the OL as a whole. So heavy footed. They need to be coming forward and pounding the rock with three different RBs. Don't see that enough for my tastes.
Matt: Your take on the Dallas-Washington matchup this weekend. Cowboys rebound at home right?
Matt Williamson (12:06 PM)
I have to think so. Can't see Washington putting many points on the board. Campbell should get hit plenty. I am quite high on Wash's D though, so a low scoring affair could be in the cards.
Jared (West Union, IA)
Did keith kidd go to be on to scout with the Denver Broncos and if so do you know how he likes it and what he responsibilites are? And prediction between SD and Denver sunday
Matt Williamson (12:08 PM)
Kidder is the Director of Pro Scouting for Denver, so in essence, he is pretty much in charge of all the free agency moves and having a hold of every player in the NFL. When they need an OLineman after one of their guys goes down, Kidder digs one up. Obviously there is much more to it-it is a great job-but most scouting departments have a GM who is in charge of the whole thing and his two right hand men are the Director of Pro and College Scouting. Then there are a fleet of scouts below those Directors. Kidder is the man, but I like SD this week.
Chet (A-Town MI)
Would Reggie Bush be the starter in Detroit?
Matt Williamson (12:11 PM)
Sorta. He is not a starting caliber RB in this league in the sense that you can hand him the ball 20 times on a week to week basis and run the full gauntlet of run plays in your playbook. He is a peripheral player-and I contend that NOrls is really using him well/correctly right now. He is closer to a WR than RB. But, I bet the Lions would kill to add him to their O. Could be a safety valve for Stafford, a complement to both Calvin J and Kev Smith. They need one more dynamic playmaker-like Bush, who also happens to be an elite returner.
Matt, Do you think the Steelers and Ravens can make it as wildcards this year, or are the odds stacked against it? It's conceivable both could finish 10-6 or better.
Matt Williamson (12:13 PM)
I very much like Pittsburgh's chances of finishing 10-6 or better. Not as confident in Baltimore, as I see more noticeable flaws in their team. Namely, I don't like their small guys-WRs and CBs. Plus, that D isn't on par with Pittsburgh's anymore. Could they get in? Sure. Still a formidable team and should be neck and neck with Houston for that last spot.
Mike W (Chicago)
Do you think Benson will start on Sunday and if he doesn't who gets the bulk of the carries, Scott or LJ?
Matt Williamson (12:17 PM)
The signing of LJ indicates that Benson might be a bit more worrisome than they are letting on. But, Cincy also clearly views themselves as a contender and adding one more downhill pounder is probably wise, as Scott is not the prototype for what they want as a starting RB. I wouldn't push Benson this week considering the opponent. Good opportunity to see what you have in Scott-who is quite talented-and to get LJ acclimated to his new team.
Bruno (St Pete)
Have you heard if S Smith (car) is good to go Thursday and how do you see him performing?
Matt Williamson (12:19 PM)
I think he is playing-super tough guy. I expect him to do well against those rookie CBs. If Delhomme doesn't turn the ball over, that O can make some noise. The OL reshuffling certainly is concerning, esp with Taylor and Porter coming off the edges. Could see Porter playing well after his benching. But, all in all, I like Smith to continue to produce well.
Have you noticed the trend of drafting a OT and running more?
Matt Williamson (12:20 PM)
Running more? Not sure about that. But OTs are at a real premium. In fact, if you look around the league, I contend that there are a shortage of top OLinemen right now overall. But obviously OTs are the most difficult guys to get-so they go very high on DDay.
Matt, do you think Kevin Kolb will be the "real deal" in Philly once he takes over for McNabb? He looked pretty good earlier this year.
Matt Williamson (12:22 PM)
I really liked Kolb coming out of college and I agree that he looked great this year. Extremely encouraging. So, yes, I am a believer. The question is, when does he get the chance to be the Man?
Bud Light Golden Wheat (Awful, undrinkable)
I didn't get a chance to check out the Detroit game last weekend. How did Calvin Johnson play? Is he developing more of a rapport with Stafford? Did the injury come into play at all (limping, lack of cutting ability, etc.)?
Matt Williamson (12:24 PM)
I don't think Calvin is all the way back from his injury. He was just so overpowering and unstoppable when healthy last year. Don't see that now. But there isn't a more talented football player in this league and I fully expect him and Stafford to develop into a lethal combo. Also this past week, the protection was awful the other Det receiving weapons dropped a ton of passes.
Can you talk a bit about Chaz Schilens? He looks like Brandon Marshall in preseason. Legit future talent or another preseason wonder?
Matt Williamson (12:26 PM)
Would like to see more for sure, but he was very impressive during the preseason. Big body and knows how to use it. Good strong hand catcher. Shields the defender and plays big. Good enough speed and overall movement skills. He was very much missed during the first half of the season and should quickly establish himself as Oak's best WR...which isn't saying much.
It's pathetic that it took an LJ meltdown for Todd Haley to play Jamaal Charles. The guy has special talent and is the only player on the team with game-breaking ability.
Matt Williamson (12:27 PM)
That is true and with KC moving more to a shotgun based spread, Charles is a good fit. That being said-much like Bush earlier-I don't see Charles handling a real heavy workload on a game to game basis. KC needs to add another RB-one with size-this offseason...amongst other things!
Do you see Kevin Walter or James Casey being more productive for the Texans this week?
Matt Williamson (12:28 PM)
Would go with Walter. He is just more proven. Casey is talented as a versatile pass catcher, but how often do rookie TEs come in and excel at this level? Tough position to adjust to.
Dwayne Boew (KC)
Am I an idiot for not reading labels, or was this an honest mistake?
Matt Williamson (12:31 PM)
Who knows. What is amazing though is that any player would put something in his body that he wasn't completely sure about. Take the bottle to work one day and ask the doc right down the hall.
josh freeman has shown some dynamic ability in his two starts. He only has two picks and one i would not even count due to some sec officials sneaking into the nfl. how would you rate the three first round rookie qb's so far in the season???
Matt Williamson (12:33 PM)
Better than expected for sure. Big arm. Big strong body. Seems poised and knows when to throw it away. Looks comfortable. I still see a very raw QB though-which is the book on him coming out of K State. Sloppy footwork. Has that weird low release, which I really don't like. Also hold the ball very low and I expect him to have a lot of fumbles in the pocket. Still, overall, better than I expected for sure and TBay fans should be encouraged.
Did sitting out last year with the injury help carson palmer become a better quarterback?
Matt Williamson (12:34 PM)
I doubt it. He was an excellent QB before sitting out. Injuries have slowed his progress if anything through his career. Superb passer. Excellent decision maker. He is playing at a very high level right now-no question about that.
Hey Matty-Ice!! As a former employee, is it hard for you to watch whats going on with the Browns. Meaning, do you have some sort of heart felt sympathy for the organization or the fans?
Matt Williamson (12:35 PM)
Not hard for me to watch. It is a pathetic display. No sympathy for the organization, with the few exceptions of a couple guys who still work there that I very much like. But, I do feel for the fans. Tremendous fan base. Awful product.
Ryan (San Diego)
What did you think of the way LT ran last week? I was surprised against Philly defense, but if you remember back towards the end of last year he was productive when they were winning. Can you see him contributing more going forward?
Matt Williamson (12:38 PM)
It was the best he has looked, but honestly-I wasn't impressed. If Kolby Smith looked like LT did that day, I would say that Smith looked better than usual. But, that is no where close to the old LT out there now. That being said, he surely can continue to contribute. Smart runner who knows how to get what is there. Just no longer has elite ability.
greg (ashburn, va )
is this jason campbells last year in the nations capital?
Matt Williamson (12:38 PM)
Gotta think so and amazingly, he could be the cream of the free agent QB crop.
Is it just me or does rey maulaluga remind you of ray lewis in his rookie year same coach is teaching
Matt Williamson (12:39 PM)
Yes, in that he is a superb playmaker and very intense. But no, in that he is no where close to the student of the game in knowing opposing tendencies or maximizing every step and movement that he makes on the field. But-you gotta be excited about Maulaluga going forward for sure. Impressive.
Jason Campbell (DC)
Woudlnt I look great in a Panthers uniform?
Matt Williamson (12:41 PM)
Not sure you would look great in any uniform-hope that came out the right way. But yeah, Carolina makes sense. Might do Campbell a lot of good to sit a year or half-year behind a vet with a new team.
Jack Sparrow (Davy Jones' Locker)
What arrr the chances o' me Buccaneers making the playoffs?
Matt Williamson (12:41 PM)
Had to post it. Gave me a chuckle.
Tim (Saginaw, MI)
Who wins the worst game of the week? Detroit or Cleveland?
Matt Williamson (12:41 PM)
That is a pretty terrible game. Detroit. I wouldn't pick Cleveland to beat anyone right now.
Matt, how much longer is Bruce calling plays for the Steelers? That was some horrible play calling in the game against the Bengals...13 run plays with a hot Mendenhall?
Matt Williamson (12:42 PM)
Shocked me too. Didn't seem to change anything up. Give Cincy credit though-they had an exceptional defensive game plan and executed it very well. It was far from Ben's best game, but I was shocked that the coaching staff didn't recognize this and put more of an onus on Mendenhall.
Tim (Saginaw, MI)
Do you think Denver will get it back together this year? I seem to think that San Diego has the division sewn up right now.
Matt Williamson (12:43 PM)
I like SD's chances as well. Denver is still good, but not amongst the best teams in the league. D is falling apart. Big questions at QB now-and even with Orton, they didn't stretch the field.
bout time Justin Forsett got real playing time ,hopefully it will continue
Matt Williamson (12:45 PM)
Long overdue. J Jones hasn't been terrible, but he is extremely run-of-the-mill. Gotta like Forsett's big play ability and elusiveness. Needs more touches, both as a runner and pass catcher.
Keith (Millis, MA)
Your thoughts on Coach Hoodie: Bold and fearless or Old and careless?
Matt Williamson (12:47 PM)
Like I said on Monday's podcast, I feel hypocritical here. If it were Tom Cable or Eric Mangini making that same call, I would probably disagree. Can't lie. Just based on their lack of a track record. But, one thing that BB has always done extremely well is handle his fourth down decisions. VERY aggressive in that regard throughout his career and also very successful on 4th. I also think NEng makes that first down more often than not. So I agree with what he did. I also think there is no shame in more or less publicly saying that you are afraid of Peyton Manning. He should be afraid of Manning. Everyone should be. The guy is an assassin.
Marc (Malden, MA)
I can't wait for the Redskins to hire Mike Shanahan, trade a 4th round pick for Brady Quinn and use their #1 pick on Jimmy Clausen.
Matt Williamson (12:48 PM)
Wanna see if Rick Mirer is available too?
Tim (Saginaw, MI)
Could the Steelers beat the Bengals in a possible playoff rematch? Does playoff experience make a difference there?
Matt Williamson (12:50 PM)
No question. I don't think the Steelers would fear going into Cincy in the playoffs one bit. They have won a ton of games in that building. To me, these are very equal teams right now. Cincy deserved to win that game, but if Pittsburgh can cover that kick, they might have stole one. And yes, playoff experience would surely be a factor-both with players and coaches-and that nod obviously goes to the SB Champs.
I've heard Heath Schuler is available too
Matt Williamson (12:51 PM)
I was going with more of a Notre Dame QB theme here. Joe Thiesman perhaps?
How do you see the Pats v Jets game unfolding this Sunday, and do you think Moss can finally get the best of Revis?
Matt Williamson (12:52 PM)
Revis is exceptional, but I think that Moss is much healthier now than he was in the first meeting. Surely his QB is as well. Still, Revis gives him trouble. Physical CB who reroutes Moss well. Could see that continuing, but I also see NEng blowing the Jets doors off. Blow out.
Dave (Saudi Arabia)
Most dominant defense thus far?
Matt Williamson (12:53 PM)
Really isn't one. Maybe Cincy. Pittsburgh's has been good. NOrls was very good there-but more so with their ability to make the big play. I don't have a real good answer for you.
Will the Cardinals be able to get a 2nd rounder for Bouldin, or will they be low-balled because teams know he won't be back with AZ.
Matt Williamson (12:54 PM)
2nd rounder seems fair. Just think if you were say, Ozzie Newsome in Balt. Give up the 50th pick overall in the draft or so for Boldin? Sure. I would do that. I really worry about Boldin's durability though...but plenty of teams could use WR help.
Tim (Saginaw, MI)
Do you think this is Peyton's best chance to get a second ring?
Matt Williamson (12:55 PM)
It is his best chance to get a 2nd ring since he got that first one! They are very strong on O-but still really don't have a running game to speak of. But, you gotta like their chances to get home field all the way through the playoffs. However, if NEng returns to Indy for the AFC Championship game, I might take NEng again.
Should the Cardinals consider a QB in the 1st round if either Locker, Claussen, or McCoy is available? Kurt won't be around much longer and their O will stall if they are ever forced to start pretty boy.
Matt Williamson (12:56 PM)
Hard for me to judge where Leinhart is in his development right now. Really hasn't played meaningful snaps over the past two years. Still, they have a ton of $$$ tied up in the position, so I would really doubt that they go 1st round QB.
What grade would you assign Matt Stafford right now?
Matt Williamson (12:58 PM)
B-. There is just so much ability here and he is tough and fearless as a passer. Confident. Sure, there have been some terrible throws and decisions, but that is part of the process. I like him more now than I did when he was coming out of Georgia. I really believe that Det has their O nucleus in place.
Keith (Millis, MA)
Do you think Sabastian Volmer will stay in the starting line up for the Patriots. Was his game vs. Freeney as good as it appeared?
Matt Williamson (12:59 PM)
He played great and has since been given the shot to start. NEng gave him an awful lot of help though-no shame in that. But, in turn, Mathis was whipping Kazcur. However, when Light returns, maybe the best move is to take Vollmer and move him to RT. Great problem to have really.
Barry Sanders (Detroit)
I was pretty darn good. Rank the top 5 RB's as you see it right now.
Matt Williamson (1:01 PM)
You were incredible. That is very tough right now, but I am quite confident in 1. Peterson 2. S-Jax. After that, the names that come to mind are C Johnson, MJD, DeAngelo and Turner-probably in that order. Too early to include Ray Rice, but I am big fan of his as well. Torn between MJD and Johnson.
Do you think the Bengals D just showed the league the bluprint to stopping big ben
Matt Williamson (1:03 PM)
Sorta, but it is easier said than done. Plus, I contend that Ben plays better than that more often than not with all things being equal-as does his supporting cast. But yes, teams will look to keep him in the pocket. But can most secondaries trust their CBs like that so they can crowd the LOS and bring pressure as often as Cincy did? PGH's WRs are a real handful.
Matt Williamson (1:03 PM)
Folks, running late here. Lost track of time. It was a blast as usual. Take care. Stop back next week.